On 30 March 2017, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying the SES-10 communications satellite from the world's largest satellite maker, Luxembourg's SES. The collaboration will go down in history as the first geostationary commercial satellite to have been launched on a flight-proven rocket booster.
The collaboration between SES and SpaceX, the company of Elon Musk – who is also the owner of the electric car company Tesla – is the beginning of a new era of spaceflight. Prior to this date, the launch of an Ariane rocket cost about 200 million dollars. With the new technology costs of a launch can be reduced to 60 million dollars. According to the press release by SES, the new technology will allow to invest more resources in new innovations that will transform the space industry over the coming decades.
The Falcon 9 is in fact designed, once it has took off and completed its task, to land on a landing pad in the ocean or on land. To enable this, the first stage of the rocket is equipped with reverse-thrusts which slows down its descend and guide the rocket to the landing pad. In theory, the Falcon 9 can be reused about a hundred times.
So the SES-10 launch was a success and started transmitting 32 minutes after lift-off. It will contribute to facilitate access to television, Internet and mobile data networks all across South America.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)